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Obama (Superman)

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serenity blaze
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100 posted 03-27-2011 01:03 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Thank you, Bob.

I have had many a temper tantrum because I felt 'dismissed'--and I can thank Pip for a lesson learned as I've learned that temper tantrums only contribute to reason to dismiss me.

I do like to think that Mike and I are not so far apart. I, too, had hopes that President Obama would address the infrastructure needs of our nation, first. Congress, though, also needs to get on board. Since the ballyhoo about the War Resolution is so prevalent, I do maintain that since the two parties have finally found something they agree on, they should move fast and furious to make sure that it never happens again.

It's like...medicine, triage style.

Then I would hope that our elected leaders would agree to address and prioritize what happens next--and in my book that would be the energy crisis which is now undeniably coupled with environmental issues.

We don't need a superman. We need to strive toward being a nation of supermen and women.

And I don't think Mike nor Brad holds me in disregard. I have great love and admiration for them both.

I take responsibility for my actions that made my reputation, and a reputation is a hard thing to overcome. But I do thank you for your kindness.
moonbeam
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101 posted 03-27-2011 04:33 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I'm assuming that the question you keep referring to is whether or not Bush had an unopposed UN resolution. My answer would  be no.....but so what? Is there some kind of rule that says unopposed resolutions are mandatory?

Of course not, but I mentioned this because of your "double standards" thread in the Alley.  It's a bit much for you to bemoan the fact that Obama does what the heck he likes and the press just let him get away with it, while at the same time ignoring the fact that Bush's/Blair's "transgressions" were a zillion times more heinous in the eyes of the objective world.

The point I was making is that much of the rest of the world probably couldn't care a toss whether Bush had Congressional approval or not - the internal workings of a sausage machine aren't of much interest to the consumer of a hotdog.

The UN, on the other hand, although it may be an irrelevance to the more arrogant of your intelligentsia, does matter to the remainder of the world in varying degrees.

As Denise pointed out, Bush spent almost a year trying to work with the UN to get them to enforce the resolutions they imposed on Iraq. He then went to congress. If you have issues with that, then I have no idea what your stance is, especially when you say "if Bush had bothered to "consult" anyone we'd never have got Saddam hanged."

I love the phrase "work with" - bulldoze would be more appropriate!  On the eve of what most of the world considered was an illegal war this was the position of the security council members (Wiki):

    * United States - The U.S. maintained that Iraq was not cooperating with UN inspectors and had not met its obligations to 17 UN resolutions. The U.S. felt that Resolution 1441 called for the immediate, total unilateral disarmament of Iraq and continued to show frustration at the fact that months after the resolution was passed Iraq was still not, in its view, disarming. Language in Resolution 1441 recalled that the use of "all means necessary" was still authorized and in effect from Resolution 678, and therefore maintained that if Iraq failed to comply with the "one final chance to comply" provision of Resolution 1441, then military action would be the result.
    * United Kingdom - Within the Security Council, the UK was the primary supporter of the U.S. plan to invade Iraq. Prime Minister Tony Blair publicly and vigorously supported U.S. policy on Iraq, and portrayed himself as exerting a moderating influence on Bush. British public opinion polls in late January showed that the public support for the war was deteriorating. It had fallen from 50 percent to 30 percent by March.
    * France - On 20 January 2003, Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said, "We think that military intervention would be the worst possible solution," although France believed that Iraq may have had an ongoing chemical and nuclear weapons program. Villepin went on to say that he believed the presence of UN weapons inspectors had frozen Iraq's weapons programs. France also suggested that it would veto any resolution allowing military intervention offered by the US or Britain. The most important French speech during the crisis was made by De Villepin at the Security Council on the 14 February 2003, after Hans Blix presented his detailed report (see below). De Villepin detailed the three major risks of a "premature recourse to the military option", especially the "incalculable consequences for the stability of this scarred and fragile region". He said that "the option of war might seem a priori to be the swiftest, but let us not forget that having won the war, one has to build peace", words which proved to be very prescient. He emphasized that "real progress is beginning to be apparent" through the inspections, and that, "given the present state of our research and intelligence, in liaison with our allies", the alleged links between al-Qaeda and the regime in Baghdad explained by Colin Powell were not established. He concluded by referring to the dramatic experience of "old Europe" during World War II. This "impassioned" speech "against war on Iraq, or immediate war on Iraq", won "an unprecedented applause", reported the BBC's Sir David Frost (BBC News). The complete text is available at the Embassy of France in the United States. Britain and the US sharply criticized France for this position in March 2003.[citation needed]
    * Russia - On the same day, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said that "Russia deems that there is no evidence that would justify a war in Iraq." On January 28, however, Russia's opinion had begun to shift following a report the previous day by UN inspectors which stated that Iraq had cooperated on a practical level with monitors, but had not demonstrated a "genuine acceptance" of the need to disarm. Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated that he would support a US-led war if things did not change and Iraq continued to show a reluctance to completely cooperate with inspection teams. However, Putin continued to stress that the US must not go alone in any such military endeavor, but instead must work through the UN Security Council. He also stressed the need for giving the UN inspectors more time. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov also garnered unusual applause inside the chamber with his speech against the war.[citation needed]
    * China - The People's Republic of China supported continued weapons inspections. On January 23, the Washington Post reported that the Chinese position was "extremely close" to that of France.[citation needed]
    * Germany - On January 22, German chancellor Gerhard Schr÷der, at a meeting with French president Jacques Chirac, said that he and Chirac would do all they could to avert war. At the time, Germany was presiding over the Security Council.
    * Angola - Angola supported continued inspections, but had not taken a stand on disarmament by military action.
    * Bulgaria - Bulgaria suggested that it would support the use of military force to disarm Iraq, even without UN backing.
    * Cameroon - Cameroon encouraged the continued inspections, but had not taken a firm stand on whether the country would support a US led strike to invade Iraq.
    * Chile - Chile indicated that it would like inspections to continue, but had not taken a position on the use of military force to disarm Iraq.
    * Guinea - Guinea supported further inspections, but had not taken a position on the use of military force to disarm Iraq.
    * Mexico - Mexico supported further inspections, and hinted that it would support a US-led military campaign if it were backed by the UN. The country also hinted that it might consider supporting a military campaign without UN backing as well. President Vicente Fox heavily criticized the war when it started and Mexican diplomats described their conversations with U.S. officials as hostile in tone and that Washington was demonstrating little concern for the constraints of the Mexican government whose people were overwhelmingly opposed to the war with Iraq. (USA Today)
    * Pakistan - Pakistan supported continued inspections.
    * Syria - Syria felt that Iraq was cooperating and meeting its obligations under UN resolutions. Syria would have liked to see the crippling UN sanctions on Iraq lifted.
    * Spain - Spain supported the US's position on Iraq and supported the use of force to disarm Iraq, even without UN approval.

You refer to Blair as being deluded. You refer to the countries joining the US and England as being "tin-pot" and then you follow that with "Mike, they were precisely my thoughts on Bush and Blair going into Iraq.  I thought they were heros standing up to the world."

There's no inconsistency of approach.  As for Bush/Blair/Iraq, I don't mind admitting at all, that I changed my mind somewhat.  I did agree with the war at the outset, and in fact even now I am uncertain as to whether it was "good" or "bad".  I agreed with it even though, I was pretty sure Bush and Blair were either lying or else genuinely deluded.  

Later I came to believe that both men were wrong to do what they did.  Not because of the suspect motives and shaky evidence for going in, but because in their anxiety to clobber a nasty man they omitted to put in the thinking and planning for the most important part of any conflict - the latter stages and the aftermath.  That, in my book, was at best negligent and at worst, criminally negligent.  It remains to be seen how Obama performs.

You seem to applaud Obama going in for "humanitarian" reasons. Saddam Hussein was a dictator who killed hundreds of thousands of Iraquis. Iraq was littered with secret prisons, complete with torture devices, from which people interred were never seen again. He murdered thousands of Kurds by gassing entire villages. Thousands of children under the age of 5 died of starvations every year. That is why I made the statement that I cannot understand how someone could support Libya action and not support Iraq decisions.

Like I say, I agree with you on this.  I still think that, despite the lies, despite the fact that they were bucking most of world opinion, despite the fact that Bush probably had a personal vendetta on his mind rather than the maltreated Iraqis, the idea of clobbering Saddam was good.  The execution of that clobbering however, while initially ok (as ok as killing innocent civilians can ever be), turned out to be incompetent, and unforgivable, thereby tarnishing the whole expedition fatally.

serenity blaze
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102 posted 03-27-2011 05:06 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I'm just popping in to say thanks--I am tired and dangerously close to "crossing wires" again. I'd like to thank Moonbeam for the U.N. info, and ask if anyone is game for a new thread regarding more info about the inception, conception, purpose and pro's and cons of a United Nations cooperative.

It does seem to me that from my limited viewpoint, the counsel of the U.N. has been dismissed, if not entirely ignored.

I am not a fan of the option of an "abstain" vote, either, as it has been my personal experience that to opt to do nothing is a decision of acceptance while shrugging responsibility.

Moonbeam? It's been intriguing to participate in this discussion.

Thank you, and thanks to all of you who contributed, too. I happen to learn more in a congenial conversational atmosphere, so while I can't say it's a pleasure (due to the gravity of the topic) it's certainly been informative.

Somebody think about that U.N. thread, k?

Dream sweet 'till then. Goodnight.
moonbeam
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103 posted 03-27-2011 06:12 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Thanks Karen.  As always, you add perspective, graciousness and mystery!

Now I have to go and figure why the ? after "Moonbeam"


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104 posted 03-27-2011 09:12 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
Conceptually, the War Powers Resolution can be broken down into several distinct parts. The first part states the policy behind the law, namely to "insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities," and that the President's powers as Commander in Chief are exercised only pursuant to a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization from Congress, or a national emergency created by an attack upon the United States (50 USC Sec. 1541).

http://www.loc.gov/law/help/war-powers.php

What part of this first section was complied with by the President prior to committing troops to Libya? ZERO.

Absent compliance with section 1, the remaining sections are irrelevent. You don't skip over section 1 and go to section 2, which only outlines the reporting requirements placed on the President once section one has been complied with. But Obama didn't even comply with section 2 in that he didn't notify even some members of Congress until after, not before, he had committed troops.

I agree that the law should be revised to eliminate any perceived loopholes of which unscrupulous leaders may take advantage, but, even then, I don't think it would really matter to the current occupant of the White House, who increasingly seems to do as he pleases, regardless of the rule of law, the Congress, the courts, and the will of the people.
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105 posted 03-27-2011 09:47 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
What part of this first section was complied with by the President prior to committing troops to Libya?


Section 2 - part C - item 2
Item 1 at a push and item 3 at a stretch.

.
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106 posted 03-27-2011 10:20 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

What specific statutory authorization did he obtain, Uncas?
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107 posted 03-27-2011 10:40 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


He received statutory authorization from the UN Denise in the form of resolution 1973.

.
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108 posted 03-27-2011 11:38 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Conceptually, the War Powers Resolution can be broken down into several distinct parts. The first part states the policy behind the law, namely to "insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities," and that the President's powers as Commander in Chief are exercised only pursuant to a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization from Congress, or a national emergency created by an attack upon the United States (50 USC Sec. 1541).

It's understood that the statutory authorization has to come from Congress, Uncas, not the U.N., as idicated from the overview of the law by the Library of Congress. So are you saying that this is one of those loopholes afforded the unscrupulous?

Bob K
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109 posted 03-27-2011 12:00 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     It is a revelation to see how upset Republicans have gotten about the War Powers act.  I too am upset about the War powers act, by the way.  So are Congressmen like Denis Kusinich, who believe that it may be enough for an impeachment.

     Where were you folks when Ronald Reagan was shipping troops to Panama and Grenada and sending covert forces into Nicaragua and making arms deals with the Iranians?  How about when He was sending the gas into Iraq that was later used to kill the villagers that folks are today so upset about?  Me too, by the way?

     The war powers act was shredded for decardes by both parties with scarcely a peep from either side, and with some vigor especially by the Republican side.  Pardon me, please, for growing somewhat cynical about the sudden revelation of a conscience by the Right.  It's about time.  It's also a remarkably a-historical and one-sided conscience that would sound considerably more convincing if it acknowledged where it came from.

     That would be  somewhat more in line with the reality of things.

     Please pardon my imparience here, because much of the case, as stated by Denise, has substance to it.  It's simplely that I, who argree with much of the substance, find myself distracted by the completely partisan focas that I have trouble keeping up the stream of agreement in print that the sumstance of what Denise is saying merits.

     Please don't draw me off into defending my party at the expense of the accuracy of your main point, Denise, which seems worthy.
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110 posted 03-27-2011 01:19 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
It's understood that the statutory authorization has to come from Congress, Uncas, not the U.N., as idicated from the overview of the law by the Library of Congress.


That understanding would be incorrect Denise, as is the overview you posted, unless there's an amendment to the resolution that I've missed. The original text of the War Powers Resolution I read doesn't specify the origin of the statutory authorisation - it's one of those tank sized loopholes I mentioned earlier.

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111 posted 03-27-2011 01:44 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Bob, my understanding of Grenada, by Reagen, and Panama, by Bush the elder, were that American lives in those areas were in immenent danger. If that was the case than the War Powers Act was not violated. Were there other motivations, like deposing Marxists regimes? I'm sure.

I would condemn the actions in Libya even if it were Bush doing it under the same circumstances. Sec. of Defense Gates, on tv this morning, answered "No" when asked if our involvement in Libya was to protect the national interests of the U.S.

I'd say the understanding is the correct intended understanding, Uncas, and that the omission of 'of Congress' in the actual law is definitely a giant loophole that needs to be closed.
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112 posted 03-27-2011 02:22 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

This woman, Samantha Powers, now is an advisor to the President. The Responsibiity to Protect doctrine, recently adopted by the U.N., is her brain child. Some see our intervention in Libya as the test run of this newly adopted U.N. doctrine.

Whom will we be bombing next, Israel?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oFkmcZt4OQ
Uncas
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113 posted 03-27-2011 04:34 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
I'd say the understanding is the correct intended understanding.


How can the insistence that Congress must give its authorisation be the correct understanding Denise, when the law clearly doesn't stipulate anything of the sort?

Surely, the law is the law as written, not how it could, would or should have been written.

.
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114 posted 03-27-2011 04:52 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Because it's a given, Uncas. U.N. mandates or resolutions are not the law of this land, nor do we require their permission or blessing in any of our activities. The Constitution is the law of the land and nowhere does the Constitution give over any authority to a foreign nation or multinational organization, and no law passed subsequently can be interpreted contrary to the Constitution. It has to be interpreted within the confines of the Constitution. A change like that, authorizing the U.N. to have power to authorize us to war would have to involve a Constitutional Amendment.
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115 posted 03-27-2011 05:07 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Denise, President Reagan  certainly stated that American lives were in danger.  On the other hand, he did not remove them from danger before or instead of going in in either Panama or in Grenada.  President Obama made it a point to do so.  President Reagan's actions preserved the appearance of a cause for war which could have been simply, safely and easily removed.  Certainly the Medical students in Grenada, if you'll remember their statements at the time as opposed to the White House Press releases about them, showed puzzlement.  They did not see themselves as being endangered at all.

     I understand you mean well, here, Denise.

     Both situations, President Obama's and President Reagan's, were wrong, in my opinion.  And remain wrong.
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116 posted 03-27-2011 05:20 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

No, I don't remember the events clearly, Bob, it was so long ago. But if it was just a pretext for war when war could have been avoided, then I condemn that action as well.
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117 posted 03-27-2011 05:39 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

From Denise:

Because it's a given, Uncas. U.N. mandates or resolutions are not the law of this land, nor do we require their permission or blessing in any of our activities. The Constitution is the law of the land and nowhere does the Constitution give over any authority to a foreign nation or multinational organization, and no law passed subsequently can be interpreted contrary to the Constitution.

From "Liberty News online":

The United Nations has been granted no legal authority over the American people or our government because the UN does not derive its powers from the consent of the American people. Americans need to stop thinking that the United Nations has some legitimate, legal authority over our country. It does not! Americans have a choice. We can follow the U.S. Constitution and protect our freedoms, liberties and sovereignty, or we can continue to contribute billions of dollars to a bottomless pit and submit to the unconstitutional interference by the United Nations in our country's and other country's internal affairs.

Perhaps, the time has finally come for Americans to rethink the value of our membership and participation in the United Nations. The evidence is clear. Not only should we get out of the United Nations, but maybe it is also time for the United Nations to get out of the United States as well.


This is the sort of dangerous parochial thinking that could eventually lead to WW3.

People who think like this in the US simply don't get it.  The world is changing, has changed.  This is the thinking of the playground bully, arrogant colonialism and might is right.  The time to hide behind the mantra "not the intention of the Founding Fathers", has long gone.  

Hello!!  We've moved on.  However prescient the Fathers were, they probably did not foresee the Internet, Globalization, travel mobility, the meshing of international finance and markets and their interdependence.  And even if the dominance of the US was forseeable, no-one perhaps catered for its inevitable decline and the rise of another world power to challenge it.

Perhaps it's time to recognise that a Global decision making body IS necessary, and to stop carping on about the loss of national identity, freedoms, control and the "power" (illusory in global terms) of Congress etc etc.  

Once again it's time to thank God you have a President who seems to realise, not just the desirability of such a course, but actually the necessity.

From Wiki:

"Recently the United States Government released its National Security Strategy for 2010. National Security Strategy.pdf

It was published in May 2010. This quote was found embedded on the 46th page in regards to the United Nations.

Enhance Cooperation with and Strengthen the United Nations: We are enhancing our coordination with the U.N. and its agencies. We need a U.N. capable of fulfilling its founding purposeŚmaintaining international peace and security, promoting global cooperation, and advancing human rights. To this end, we are paying our bills. We are intensifying efforts with partners on and outside the U.N. Security Council to ensure timely, robust, and credible Council action to address threats to peace and security. We favor Security Council reform that enhances the U.N.'s overall performance, credibility, and legitimacy. Across the broader U.N. system we support reforms that promote effective and efficient leadership and management of the U.N.'s international civil service, and we are working with U.N. personnel and member states to strengthen the U.N.'s leadership and operational capacity in peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, post-disaster recovery, development assistance, and the promotion of human's rights. And we are supporting new U.N. frameworks and capacities for combating transnational threats like proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, infectious disease, drug-trafficking, and counter terrorism."
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118 posted 03-27-2011 06:17 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

We need a U.N. capable of fulfilling its founding purposeŚmaintaining international peace and security, promoting global cooperation, and advancing human rights.

True enough. Perhaps if we  had one, people would change their minds. We don't. We have a UN that talks and does nothing, issues directives and restrictions and doesn't enforce them. We have a UN that puts countries like Libya on their Human RIghts council, one that watches the massacres of millions of people in Africa and does nothing. They show their incompetence every time a human rights issue arises. The fact that they all agreed on Libya is unprecendented. We will have to see how that works out.

The UN in theory is a wonderful idea. The UN in reality does next to nothing...a modern day League of Nations and little else. Would the elimination of the UN lead to WW3? They  are doing nothing to stop it now. Communication is good....communications without action is just a lot of talk.

The UN is supposed to stand for defending human rights. China is a major member. China is one of the greatest violators of human rights. When you you think the UN will hold China responsible for their actions? If you said never, you win a Wal-Mart gift certificate. If you didn't, get mental help quick!!!!
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119 posted 03-27-2011 06:19 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
Because it's a given


As far as laws are concerned Denise nothing is 'a given', the letter of the law, including unintentional loopholes, is all that matters. In fact far from allowing presumptions most laws are put in place to change the notion of what was previously presumed as 'a given'. The right to keep slaves was once a given, the fact that women weren't allowed to vote was a given, both assumptions were removed by legislation.

How do you determine what's an intentional removal of 'a given' and what isn't? Simple, you adhere to the letter of the law until it's amended, and in this case the letter of the law doesn't stipulate the source of the statutory authorisation, foreign or otherwise.

quote:
The Constitution is the law of the land and nowhere does the Constitution give over any authority to a foreign nation or multinational organization.


I agree, but that just makes the War Powers Resolution unconstitutional, it's still the law until the Supreme Court decides otherwise. Only at that point forward would adhering to the law be unconstitutional.

BTW - If you think item 2 is a mistake Denise you'll love item 1:

The President can instigate military action pursuant to "a declaration of war"

If Congress declares war against another nation?
If another nation declares war against the US?
If a nation declares war against its own citizens?

The War Powers Resolution doesn't specify, some would argue that only the first was a given, others that the second was also a given, due to the lack of a specific exclusion I'd argue that the third is also a given.

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120 posted 03-27-2011 08:48 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Uncas, abolition of slavery and Women's Suffrage were handled by Amendments to the Constitution, not just by the passing of a law by the legislature.

The 13th Amendment ended slavery, the 15th Amendment guaranteed the right of blacks (male) to vote and the 19th Amendment guaranteed the right of women to vote.

The Constitution incorporated within it a flexibility to address the need for change based on further enlightenment, expanded understandings and changing times.


quote:

BTW - If you think item 2 is a mistake Denise you'll love item 1:

The President can instigate military action pursuant to "a declaration of war"

If Congress declares war against another nation?
If another nation declares war against the US?
If a nation declares war against its own citizens?

The War Powers Resolution doesn't specify, some would argue that only the first was a given, others that the second was also a given, due to the lack of a specific exclusion I'd argue that the third is also a given.


See how ridiculous it all gets when it is interpreted outside of its intended context?

Since the courts have declined to become involved in interpreting it, I believe that Congress needs to work on tightening up some of the language.

Rob, you can have the U.N. I'll keep our Constitution and our sovereignty, thank you very much!

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121 posted 03-27-2011 11:52 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Thank you, Denise for what seemed to me to be your openminded non-partisan comments.  I appreciate them and you.
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122 posted 03-28-2011 12:13 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Mike, I understand some of your frustration with the U.N.  You may be confusing the U.N., however, with a nation state, which actually maintains its own armed forces, has sovereignty and it's own coherent foreign policy.  It is not a world government, which might be a legitimate target for the sort of criticism that you are leveling.  Its funding is voluntary, pretty much, and is often somewhat petulantly withheld by member states who still insist on voting rights.  It is better at some things than others.  Imposing its will on members is not something that it seems to have been consistently good at as long as members show up and vote, especially permanent members of the security counsel.  

     In many ways, it closer to Student Government in High School or College than a nation with the power to levy taxes.

     I can't imagine there are many actual governments in the world that would be thrilled to have it be more powerful.  It does serve as a sport of screen for a lot of other governments to mask their intrigues behind, as George Bush did in 2001 and as Barack Obama is doing now, when they wish to make unpopular or somewhat shady international moves without taking the full shock of the responsibility for them.

     As they said in The Wizard of Oz, "Pay no attention to the little man behind the screen."

     Blaming the screen is a waste of time.  It's a convenience everybody seems to use to, Democrats, Republicans, Arabs, Jews, Right Wingers, Lefties, Polar bears and penguins.  Remember how wonderful the U.N. Used to be when it provided cover for the Invasion of Iraq?  I predict, it will eventually earn your praise again, just as it will earn your contempt for whatever particular flaws it displays so electrically Ś Black market oil, anybody?
Bob K
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123 posted 03-28-2011 11:21 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     My preference is that a formal declaration of war be required for the president to commit troops or military resources.

     This has not been the case in fact for decades.  Certainly there was no declaration of war in Iraq.

     We act as though the United States has been in a constant state of war since World War Two, one which slips into occasional active phases which seems to require emergency comittment of troops to an already ongoing state of war.  I do not believe that this is what the framers of the constitution intended, nor do I believe that this in fact describes our current situation.  I do believe, however, that it describes our current behavior.  I believe that we need to submit ourselves to a searching examination of our behavior in this regard.

     It is politically expedient for both parties.  It is also toxic to the democracy.  It justifies our current system of government by emergency.  Such governments have a long historical precident in Democracies, going back at least as far as the Romans.  The rulers who ran things during these periods were given a special title in Rome.  That title was Tyrant.  When the emergency was over, they were supposed to go back to the farm; and sometimes they actually did.

     Government by emergency is very dangerous.  It tends to lead to security states.  It certainly did in Rome.  It seems to be tending that way here.  One of the indications of difficulty seems to me to be that parties seem to show more loyalty to the party than to the state itself.  I speak here of both parties.  I mention that I see the center withering away.  The center should be the place where everybody should be able to meet and talk, and there is a lot of difficulty doing that these days.

     I speak of both parties in this regard.

     Perhaps at another time I will speak in another, more partisan fashion, but I find it simply a bit difficult to bear for some reason today.  I don't blame anybody else for that, not even the weather; it's simply who I am this evening.  I wish everybody well, and a good evening to all.
moonbeam
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124 posted 03-29-2011 06:03 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Mike

We need a U.N. capable of fulfilling its founding purposeŚmaintaining international peace and security, promoting global cooperation, and advancing human rights.

True enough. Perhaps if we  had one, people would change their minds. We don't. We have a UN that talks and does nothing ...


I think you know that that last statement is wrong Mike, as for the rest, well, maybe we would have a more effective UN if the US particularly had behaved differently over the last ten years.

True the US does not have an easy task, the UN evolved in a manner that makes it hard to operate in an environment where one nation state is much more powerful that all the rest (although frankly with such an imbalance it's hard to see any easy option), however this places a huge onus on the US to behave "maturely" and unselfishly, to recognise that there will be many times when sovereignty and national interest will not be synonymous world interest, and to seek compromise wherever possible.  Americans are generally, with justification, a very proud people, and hopefully won't let that pride become destructive.

Maybe, as China moves towards ascendancy, it's more than ever time to quit hiding behind the past and narrow self interest, and engage with the world in a way that would, I am sure, have made your Founding Fathers proud, and will hopefully show other countries the way to behave.  

The UN is certainly not perfect, but it's a start, and trying to manipulate and bully it using financial, political and economic threats and coercion while preaching the sovereignty line, is not the way forward imo.  


Ron

As I have had no e-mail from you, it would probably save you hassle editing, and me time writing, if you could explain what I can and can't do.

I just posted an addendum here, commenting on Mike's Obama post in the Alley.  It is also largely relevant to this thread.  I'm assuming that you deleted it not because it infringes the rules on "personal attacks" but because it was answering issues raised in the Alley, and you have a problem with that?

Am I not allowed to comment on any Alley post in other places in PiP?

If I have strong feelings about Mike's Obama post in the Alley, am I allowed to start a new thread here in Feelings dealing with some of the issues he raises?

I'll obviously abide by whatever you want, but it would be nice to know what it is you do want.

[This message has been edited by moonbeam (03-29-2011 07:16 AM).]

 
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